The Z Man has a typically good column up today, about China. If his initial assumptions are right, he’s dead-bang on. But I wonder….
There is also the fact that China is smart. She can take the long view with Taiwan as she knows in a generation the American empire will be gone. Given the physical condition of the ruling class and the mental condition of the probable successors, the American empire will be out of Asia in a decade….
From the Chinese perspective, she has no reason to make any moves on Taiwan, as the puppet government in Washington is unlikely to stagger on much longer. Despite the claims by regime media, the world fully grasps the reality of the situation. The American regime is in deep crisis. The American empire is the sick man of the world right now and everyone is just waiting for the inevitable.
I’m not sure that’s true. There are two assumptions here — one about China, one about “the world” — and both of them are in need of qualification.
Z Man quotes Derb in his column, which reminds me of another Derb line from way back, something about if Japan and China are going to fight another war, they’re going to have to fight it on a shuffleboard court. China has a serious demographic problem. The disastrous one-child policy left a country with hugely skewed sex ratios, and all those lone boys are rapidly aging. That huge Chinese navy, that formidable land army, that big air force with its spiffy new stealth(ish) fighters… all of those will soon be staffed by geriatrics. It’s now or never for the Celestial Empire, if they think they’re going to have to do any actual fighting.
Nor does it help that Xi and the Gang’s go-to maneuver to take their slaves’ minds off things is to whip up nationalistic — which means, in practice, anti-American — sentiment. You can only rail at the Great Satan for long without actually doing something, especially if a key component of your nationalistic fervor is that huge navy, formidable land army, spiffy new air force, and so on. Y’all built that specifically to take on Uncle Sam, and all you’re going to do with it is saber-rattle? There are still a lot of guys in high places in the CCP who remember Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai; hell, the Chinese have the longest memory of any race, and the Warlords weren’t that long ago. The ruling junta can’t really trust their generals; the generals are always at least aware, in at least a vague theoretical way, of the soft spots on the politicians’ backs.
I dunno. I’m not a Sinologist. The North Koreans have managed to stagger on for most of a century now by constantly shaking their fist at the Great Satan… but doing nothing more than that, at least overtly. I wouldn’t bet on the Chinese going that route, though, especially once the totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent Biden regime gets around to pissing off Lil’ Kim, who is a major Chinese client.*
The second assumption is about what “the world” knows. Yeah, America’s the sick man, all right, but like Turkey — the original “sick man of Europe” — it’s hard to judge just how sick America actually is, and what to do about it. The Crimean War, for instance, wouldn’t have happened as it did, or perhaps at all, if everyone involved had been able to better gauge how sick the Ottoman Empire really was. See also: Gallipoli, and do you see what I mean? Even a terminally sick man thrashing around in his death throes can do a lot of damage…
…and that’s before you recall that Churchill, Lord Palmerston, and even Napoleon III and Nicholas I in their way, were serious, intelligent men. Compared to this crew, they’re bloody geniuses, and I’m not just talking about our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent President, Joey Cabbage, may peace be upon him. Do you seriously want Angela Merkel at the helm in a real crisis? Boris Johnson? Emmanuel Macron? Can you even name any of the goobers who run the European Union’s “defense” apparatus?
I didn’t pick the Crimean War on a whim. The neoklowns in Washington — who are of course the exact same fucking neoklowns who were there under Trump, and Obama, and Shrub, and Clinton, and so on and so on, world without end, because apparently diplomatic posts are lifelong here in the Senile Empire — are busy poking The Bear again, for no reason other than the one the scorpion gave the frog: It’s me nature, mate. And the various “defense” ministers of Europe — whoever they are — are letting them do it. If “the world” knows that the totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent Bidenreich is on the verge of collapse, they sure as hell aren’t acting like it.
But then again, how could they know? I’ve saved this for last, because it’s the scariest… y’all, I really think “the world” has been sniffing its own farts for so long, they believe their own hype. I certainly see no indication that the rest of “the world” thinks Joey Cabbage is anything other than what he obviously is — you know, totally legitimate and not at all fraudulent, and the very picture of mental heath, too. I know it seems hard to believe, but again, look at the USSR. In retrospect, the Soviet Union was the world’s sick man almost from the death of Stalin, and certainly from the death of Khrushchev, but nearly everybody missed it. Certainly all the experts missed it, which is why it came as such a big surprise to George HW Bush — that’s former CIA director GHW Bush, in case you’ve forgotten.
The new quasi-discipline I’m calling, for lack of a better term, “Bidenology” suffers from the same defects Kremlinology did back in the days — an almost totally reliance on SIGINT, including. by definition, the reports coming out of the State media. Which are all lies, of course, but what kind of lies? Lies of commission, or omission? Are they lies of detail, or are they big whopping category errors? Worse, our allies’ state Media organs are even worse than ours somehow — Rotten Chestnuts has lots of overseas readers, and y’all please do correct me if I’m wrong, but my overwhelming impression of European (Australian, New Zealand, etc.) Media is that they’re somehow further and harder in the tank for Joey Cabbage than even the AINO media. And worst, we don’t even have the occasional defector to help filter our SIGINT — the Cathedral, the Hive, the Big Top, call it what you will, they have excellent message discipline.
So what’s the truth? Beats my pair of jacks. Z Man concludes that the inevitable will happen sooner than later. I tend to agree, but I’m not so sure, because sick men sometimes do recover. Not all the way, of course, but enough to stagger off their sickbeds for a few more years, decades, even centuries — there’s a school of Roman historiography, led by guys like Peter Heather, who argue that Rome could’ve stumbled on more or less indefinitely had it not been for an extraordinary confluence of circumstances. I guess we’ll see…
*As Z Man himself noted, most if not all of what Leftists have done for the past three decades has been avenging old slights. Obamacare, whatever the hell that “reset” with the Russians was supposed to be, the appointment of fossils like Merrick Garland to high places… all those only make sense as revenge. (Garland was supposed to be the next Supreme Court justice under Al Gore, for example). Trump had a big splashy meeting with Lil’ Kim, in which both men acted at least approximately like sane, responsible world leaders; therefore, the Biden Administration will be picking a stupid, pointless fight with him sometime soon.Loading Likes...